I suppose this is also true for new cities, new experiences, new countries and new continents.
This was from last year sometime but never posted.
The way back was much faster. I can navigate the pot holes and speed bumps much easier and the basic white line makes driving in the dark so much easier than the night of my scariest drive while I was in a stick shift fighting g the road with people, cows and herds of goats to drive up hill, in the dark and late. George and I were in Malawi and only a son can tell you how to drive and not get his head big off. Btw, missed the flight, I was a day late! So I appreciate these fine roads, Mexico! Back to the condo for reading, sun bathing and a nap
We headed out, a little dressed up since it was still my birthday, and drove to the place we were promised pulpas. No octopus for us, they were closed. Maybe tomorrow. So we drove the ten minutes into the Romantic zone. A little drizzle on the way, we are starting to enjoy the Mexican radio. Sushi or Mexican food? Mexican. We shared a moljete dish which is shrimp, cactus, onions etc in a molten spicy cheese. I have the container at home. It is made if stone. It was delicious as were the margaritas. And the gave me a small dessert
Back at the condo we read tarot cards and played more Rummicub. I am not my usual winner. At that games, but we both had positive Tarot cards.
Spent the rest of the afternoon walking around Sydney. Finally had some oysters. They were pretty good! Not as good as Namibia but pretty good. I might fly to Namibia just for the oysters! Had to get packed and then enjoyed the piano player at my hotel.
And now a little breakfast at the airport getting ready for a long flight. I leave here at 11:10 am and arrive in LA at 6am.
Awesome trip. I will be back, hopefully in August to do some sapphire digging.
A quiet night except for all the animals making noise! I think it was birds and monkeys.
Saw some of the animals at the Wings Wildlife Center where we are camping. It started as a Tasmanian Devil rescue then other animals were brought, mostly orphaned and injured. They have reptiles and fish too. Wild animals and domestic animals too.
Today I hiked at the Blue Mountain Range from the city of Katoomba. This is a small backpackers town that caters to hikers, climbers and cavers. The most famous area is Three Sisters.
Way to the left of the left most sister is the first destination.
The Aboriginal dream-time legend has it that three sisters, ‘Meehni’, ‘Wimlah’ and ‘Gunnedoo’ lived in the Jamison Valley as members of the Katoomba tribe.
These beautiful young ladies had fallen in love with three brothers from the Nepean tribe, yet tribal law forbade them to marry.
The brothers were not happy to accept this law and so decided to use force to capture the three sisters causing a major tribal battle.
As the lives of the three sisters were seriously in danger, a witchdoctor from the Katoomba tribe took it upon himself to turn the three sisters into stone to protect them from any harm. While he had intended to reverse the spell when the battle was over, the witchdoctor himself was killed. As only he could reverse the spell to return the ladies to their former beauty, the sisters remain in their magnificent rock formation as a reminder of this battle for generations to come.
The colors of these mountain change all day and are spectacular at sunset and sunrise.
Hiking was incredible going from the top of the peak down to the Three Sisters viewing platform.
Then down deep into the jungle to see a waterfall. There had been a huge rain recently and much of the trail was washed out. This is the same rain that put many of the fires out.
The short cut was getting up to the road. The road had washed out and several houses on the cliffs were in danger of falling down the cliffs but the danger sign and no trespassing signs seemed optional. The road was gone and I walked through what seemed like quick sand. Lots of cool birds to look at a like huge Black Cuckoos and white parrots and some special Pheasant.
Back to the hotel for some pizza and beer. The town is pretty quiet on a Wednesday night.
It’s Friday! But this is news starting with yesterday.
Drove the hour drive back to the city of Sydney. Just like a normal busy city, lots of cars and people. I was lucky to find a great old hotel that housed the oldest tavern in Sydney. It was near the Rocks area and Sydney Harbor Bridge. But first a quick trip to Manly Beach and the former military training camp where there were awesome views of the city and some hiking around the WW 1 and 2 bunkers. Never know that they had ships sunk too, but they “caught” a Japanese sub. Didn’t know that the city of Darwin was hit badly too. The British sent their prisoners to Australia then hired them to fight their wars. Interesting.
Love the little pedestrian only areas. It makes it so much more of a community feel.
Then a little walk around the hotel area. Super close to the Sydney Opera House.
After a lot of walking I had my first kangaroo burger. I had mixed feelings about it. It was tasty enough but they are so cute!
People start happy hour very early and it goes on for sometime. The hotel I was staying at was called the Russell Hotel and had two bars, one more casual and one more formal. The casual bar had a fun live band that I could hear in my hotel room.
Today after a great brekkie, drove to Bondi Beach. Apparently they have a tv show like Bay Watch called Bondi Beach with a similar theme.
Lots of hiking on the shore. It looked like a fun surf place. People have been going to this beach for 200 years. This swimming pool on the beach was pretty cool with the waves crashing into it.
Similar beach scene as Manly Beach, lots of restaurants and shops. Cute beach back ground.
Back to the city and Darling Harbor and walking around the city.
Have to leave this amazing country tomorrow. Just a few more things to do. I will be back.
Finally a shower for me. It wasn’t as cold as I thought it would be. We packed up everything and waited for the animal encounters. First we went through several of the inside enclosures, the are a lot of rat, opposing looking animals here. First one we held was George a baby Tasmanian devil. He was very sweet. Apparently they have the devil name because when they came out at night before electricity, the candles of the early settles made their ears look red and their teeth were big and sharp. They called open their mouths to 180 degrees. That is a big bite.
Next we went to the Wombat pen. There were three wombats. They were super friendly. We held one on our lap and the other two kept climbing up.
Saw some birds and some of the other wombats and devils then in to the kangaroos. I was so excited!
A beautiful morning. Had a little coffee and decided that we needed better WiFi. My posts are a little out of order because of the spotty internet. Breakfast at All things nice Cafe. Great Big Brekkie and soon we will travel West to The Nut near the town of Stanley
We decided not to go to the Nut and headed to the Wings Wildlife Camp where we had a reservation. It’s a place where they take in injured animals and have a little farm with animals and cabins and camping. It was a breathtaking drive and we are in a spot away from everyone including internet for the most part. Saw some animals today and more tomorrow.
Time to head to the next part of our adventure. Had a a quick coffee with my new friend! Then an Uber to the airport. Delayed one hour then we boarded, then the “missing part” made us wait and wait, then deplane and then wait for a new crew, meanwhile our first plane left. Finally we were off.
I took some meat and cheese in my carry on. The flight attendants told us that we couldn’t bring fruits and vegetables and seafood into other parts of Australia so I wasn’t sure if I should get rid of it. I had looked it up on the internet and all sources said it was ok so I kept it in my bag.
Megan went to get the camper van and I went to get the luggage. My bag came out and then a woman with a dog was on the baggage claim belt and no more bags were coming out…..I decided that I better go toss my contraband. I had learned my lesson in Tonga! Megan was done so she went to get her bag. Somehow her bag was taken off the belt and we had to find it. Just a bit more for the day of delays.
We started. The drive to the south. We were headed to Eagle Wing Neck on the Tasman Peninsula. The drive was beautiful. We saw some kangaroos on the side of the road, hopping. We also, unfortunately saw a lot of dead ones in the road and other animals too.
It was getting dark so it was a little nerve wracking to not know where we were going. Finally we pulled up to a campsite. It was closed. There was a buzzer, with no designation of what it was for but I buzzed it and finally after a long time, a man came out and I asked if there was a site available and there was. It took a few minutes to find it in the dark and we never did find the electrical outlet. Had a little champagne to celebrate my birthday and then time to sleep!
We rode our bikes back to the shop and hopped on the Tram back to the CBD, Central Business District. We tried to get the A/C fixed in our room and two nice maintenance men tried to make it colder and even gave us their key card to keep the A/C on all day. It was better. We planned on taking a little nap so we could stay out later. But we spent the time trying to book the camper van for Tasmania and decide on flights from Hobart to Sydney. Had a few drinks in the the room and then ventured out to the riverfront.
The riverfront was a gorgeous mix of old majestic buildings and Morse Ron sleek skyscrapers. It was very well lit and beautiful. So many people having dinner and drinks. We looked for a fun little spot and found one after listening to some street music.
As we walked down the steps the door magically opened. It was called Beneath Driver Lane. It looked like a speakeasy but it was an old place that they used to sort money orders. And it was a whisky bar. I had an amazing Old Fashioned and Megan had an Espressos Martini. We may go back for live music
Death. Visited by God. That is the medical examiners diagnosis for many of the prisoners that were transported from Europe and the rest of the world. Over 75,000 prisoners were brought to Tasmania to Port Arthur for what may sound like a petty crime of stealing a loaf of bread but we were told repeatedly not to feel sorry for them because most were repeat offenders.
We stayed for part of the tour. It could have been an all day event for some. In to the Blow Hole and traveling North. Beautiful country side. Some roads we saw twice. Navigating here is interesting with spotty internet and very small signs. And only one sign indicating a turn off! It was a Sunday and most things were closed. In Launceston we stopped for a bite and a pint at The Irish. Great food!
Finally got to the campsite Abel Tasman campground. Time for mojitos and gin rummy